Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bonding with my Boys over a Board Game

"It's your turn," says my eldest son to me as he hands me the dice.

I then get the dice from him and rolls it on our bedroom floor.

Playing with my eldest son's race track board game has been one of our bonding activities these past days. We've been using the racetrack board game from his Cars magazine.  For our dice, we use our big colorful dice with a bell inside which our baby like to play with.

The other day, my eldest son suggested that we let his baby brother join our game.

Since the boardgame is inspired by the movie, the game includes some of the main characters in the story -- Lightning McQueen, The King and Chick Hicks.  There were also boxes in the board game which were red, blue and green.  Yanthy said that he will be Chick Hicks while I will be The King.  He assigned Mateo to be Lightning McQueen. 

I like how the mechanics of the board game integrated the traits and background of the characters in the movie.  Let me quote some of the mechanics or rules in our race track board game.

The King: Experience

He's won lots of races. If you have this car and land on a blue box, throw the die again.

Chick Hicks: Grit

He never stops!  If you have this car and land on a green box, double your score.

McQueen: Turns

Doc told him how to race on turns.  If you have this car and land on a red box, advance 6 spaces.

My sons and I took turns rolling our colorful dice and moving our "cars" forward on the race track counting carefully as we move from one box to the next.

Yanthy was leading during the most part of our game the first time we played with his baby brother.  Mateo was trailing.  But as we approached the finish line, we were happily surprised to see Mateo advance and go past our "cars" until he won the race.  We were so happy for Mateo and we clapped our hands for him and congratulated him. 

I'm grateful that my sons and I can already bond through a simple board game.  I have fond memories of my childhood playing board games with my parents and my brother or with my brother only.  We had so much fun!

Here are some of the benefits I see in playing board games:
  •  They help kids practice their counting skills by moving from one box to the next.
  •  They train them to be familiar with the number of dots in a dice.
  •  They teaches them patience by waiting for their turn.
  •  Kids become more aware of rules and learn to practice abiding by the rules in the context of a game.
  •  Parents and/or siblings can bond and have fun with each other.
  •  It's an opportunity for parents to teach their kids about being a good sport.
  •  Kids can learn and practice addition if two dice are used in the games.  My husband and I plan to use this strategy soon since our eldest son has already mastered the dice and is now enjoying simple addition games.

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